Elvis Costello at the Hoover Factory 1978
One of the songs on Elvis Costello's Demo Tapes for Stiff Records was called Hoover Factory. It was written about the giant Art Deco building out just outside London that EC saw every day on his way to work as a computer operator at Elisabeth Arden. It's a simple song, and quite unusual in subject matter and lyrics. In early 1978 the Sunday Times commissioned me to shoot Elvis for the colour supplement and I thought it would be an interesting place to go and shoot. Given that nobody knew the song at that time it also provided yet another of the little "in jokes" that were so often contained in his record sleeves.
We both went out to Western Avenue and did a bunch of different photos outside the Hoover Factory gates, many were full length and featured the vast building in the background, EC wore a number of outfits, from an American Brass Bandleader's jacket to a bright blue sweater with stripes.
It's the latter which is featured here, knowing him as well as I did he did not mind me using a wide angle lens and being only about 15 inches from his face. Looking back at this image he seems so young, and that impish look in his eyes makes for a great photo of the best new British singer/songwriter to have come along in decades.